The month of Asala (July), during which period this annual pageant is usually held, had been considered a month of celebrations and festivity, both among Indians and Sri Lankans. Even from the lifetime of the Buddha in the 6th century BC, the Asala festival was held to commemorate the Buddha’s Conception, his Renunciation and the First Sermon. Asala is also considered to be the beginning of the raining season (Vassana) when the monks commence their Retreat. Also, this month is considered to be the period when ritual performances to the protective divinities are held, (eg Pattini puja) as recorded in the text ‘Pattini-Halla’. Being considered a ‘chaste’ month, the period is held sacred for the availability of water, hence prosperity.
Several records have been left behind by dignitaries and other visitors to the island such as Robert Knox, John Davy, etc. The description of the perahara. These accounts provide much evidence as to the constitution and organization of the present day perahara. Yet many features seem to have been added and some changed to suit the time and the available resources and conditions.
The earliest record maintained on the Kandy annual pageant was by Robert Knox, an Englishman who lived in the court of Kandy for many years as a prisoner during the time of Rajashimha II (1636-1684). According to Knox, the Kandy perahara was conducted purely to honor the Devale divinities, Alutnuvara (Uppalavanna), Kataragama and Pattini. The Natha Devale, however, though the oldest shrine in Kandy, was not mentioned by Knox. During the time of King Kirti Sri Rajasimha the Natha Devale too is mentioned in the processions of the four Devales. The most important feature that occurred at this time was the addition of the Tooth Relic procession to the processions of the four Devales. It is said that the king himself placed the Relic casket in the ‘Ransivige’ fixed on to the back of the tusker. The Mahavamsa further records that the procession held by King Kirti Sri Rajasimha with all splendors assumed the form of a national festival.
|5th August 2013||Planting of Kapa|
|5th -8th August 2013||Internal Perahera of Four Devales|
|11th August 2013||First Kubal Perahera|
|12th August 2013||Second Kubal Perahera|
|13 th August 2013||Third Kubal Perahera|
|14 th August 2013||Fourth Kubal Perahera|
|15th August 2013||Fifth Kubal Perahera|
|16th August 2013||First Randoli Perahera|
|17th August 2013||Second Randoli Perahera|
|18th August 2013||Third Randoli Perahera|
|19th August 2013||Forth Randoli Perahera|
|20th August 2013||Fifth Randoli Perahera|
|21st August 2013||Day Perahera|
Photo credits goes to Darshana Abraham and Akila De Silva
Kandy Esala Perhara Documentry
Photos of Kandy Esala Perahara 2012